This report is concerned with the implications of drug use for workplace safety and productivity. It examines the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use by the U.S. work force, the impact of such use on job-related behavior, and the effectiveness of workplace drug intervention programs. The report is organized into three parts. Following the Introduction (Chapter 1), Part I (Chapters 2 and 3) summarizes current knowledge concerning the primary causes and the severity and magnitude of alcohol and other drug use. Chapter 2 provides some insight into the etiology of alcohol and other drug use. Chapter 3 examines the latest prevalence estimates and trends in alcohol and other drug use behavior. Part II (Chapters 4 and 5) addresses the critical issue of the impact of alcohol and other drug use on behavior. Chapter 4 summarizes a substantial body of literature that has evaluated the effects of various classes of drugs on performance within controlled laboratory settings, including effects of stimulants (e.g., amphetamines, cocaine), sedatives (e.g., benzodiazepines, alcohol), and marijuana. Chapter 5 reviews applied research on the potential causal relationship between alcohol and other drug use and various work-related outcome measures, such as job performance and productivity indicators. Part III (Chapters 6, 7, and 8) addresses the effectiveness of intervention programs with special emphasis given to drug-testing programs. Given that drug-testing programs are commonplace in American corporations today, the committee felt that special attention to this form of drug use intervention program was imperative. Chapter 6 describes current analytical methods used to test biologic specimens for drugs and discusses the strengths and weaknesses associated with the procedures and techniques for analyzing biological specimens (e.g., urine, hair, saliva). It also reviews indirect methods of assessing drug use, including attitude questionnaires and others. Chapter 7 provides a critical review of studies that have attempted to evaluate the effectiveness of workplace drug-testing programs. Chapter 8 reviews the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of employee assistance programs (EAPs) and workplace prevention programs. Appendix A addresses basic but critical measurement, methodological, and design issues, and Appendix B addresses relevant drug-testing legal issues. This report has particular significance for the U.S. Department of Transportation because it calls into question the efficacy of workplace drug testing and drug intervention programs.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Research Council/Institute of Medicine

    2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20418
  • Publication Date: 1994


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 333 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00668908
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309048850
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 2 1994 12:00AM